Patriots

Kyle Van Noy celebrates anniversary of trade that he says saved his career

Kyle Van Noy celebrates anniversary of trade that he says saved his career

FOXBORO -- It's becoming an annual tradition.

When Oct. 25 rolls around, Kyle Van Noy takes to Twitter for a little reflection. He celebrated last year with a tweet. He did the same on Thursday.

"Happy anniversary," he wrote, "to me and my trade day! What a day that turned out to be."

That trade, the one that sent a sixth-round pick to Detroit in exchange for Van Noy and a seventh, ended up being one of the most important days of his career.

"Saved it, probably," Van Noy said. "Honestly. It's been a blessing. Kind of changed my whole life type of deal. Huge blessing."

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Van Noy was a starter for the Lions at the time of the deal so it's not as though he was scrapping for playing time. But he was part of a defense that needed a makeover, and he was playing a role that wasn't necessarily best suited for him. 

Two years later, he's still a starter (he played 84 percent of the snaps in 2017 and he's on the same pace in 2018). He's also a Super Bowl champion. He's earned a contract extension. 

In his tweet Thursday, he thanked Lions general manager Bob Quinn ("#thanksbob") and Bill Belichick ("#thanksbilltrill") for executing the deal. It's under Belichick that Van Noy has been able to reinvent himself as a multi-faceted linebacker. 

"Definitely gotta thank him," Van Noy said. "He's a big part of why I'm here. If not the reason."

Van Noy has found himself in more pass-rush situations in 2018 -- 37.3 percent of his snaps have come in pursuit of passers, per Pro Football Focus, versus 25.4 percent last year -- but he remains a player the Patriots rely on in all situations. 

He's adapted to life in New England to the point that Belichick referenced Van Noy as a team leader this summer.

"He’s a player that didn’t start his career here but has come in and really has understood the way that we have tried to do things," Belichick said. "He’s embraced it. He’s become very much of a leader in, A) doing his job and doing it the right way, but also helping other guys, particularly guys that transition onto the team as he did. He has a good perspective for that. 

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"He’s been very durable, dependable, he’s a smart football player, he’s versatile. He can do a lot of different things defensively, in the running game, in the passing game and in the kicking game. So, he’s got a good skill set and is a smart player with experience and can fill a lot of different roles for us. It’s hard to find players like that. He’s been a valuable guy for us."

As the Patriots may have saved Van Noy's career, he's helped them adjust to a situation where their depth at the second level could have been thin enough that it derailed their title hopes in 2016. Jamie Collins was traded just days after Van Noy's acquisition. Had Van Noy's transition not gone as it did, the Patriots might've found themselves in a irreparable scenario defensively. 

Instead, Van Noy ended up being a key component of the defense, playing over half of the snaps in the postseason that year, and notched a sack in Super Bowl LI. 

Last season, Van Noy filled in for Dont'a Hightower when Hightower hit injured reserve with a torn pec. He played nearly every snap when healthy, and if not for an injury of his own late in the season, he would've rarely come off the field.

That's the role he's earned in New England and continues to hold two full years after the day that changed his life. 

"Two year anniversary today getting traded here . . . Big-time," he said. "Happy to be a part of this."

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"Tom vs Time" receives Emmy nomination for Outstanding Serialized Sports Documentary

"Tom vs Time" receives Emmy nomination for Outstanding Serialized Sports Documentary

The start of football season is no longer the only reason Tom Brady will look forward to this fall. 

On Sunday, Brady announced on Twitter that his Facebook series "Tom vs Time" received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Serialized Sports Documentary. 

Coming off his sixth Super Bowl championship, Brady can't seem to lose anymore. Of course, we'll see if he takes home the award on September 17, where he'll have to take a break preparing for the Jets to attend the award show. 

As Brady nears the end of his playing career, this most likely won't be the last time we see him up for awards in entertainment. Couple that with his TB12 brand, and the greatest quarterback of all time seems to have a nice retirement plan set up for himself. 

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Take a look at this cool photo of Bill Belichick at the Preakness Stakes

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File photo

Take a look at this cool photo of Bill Belichick at the Preakness Stakes

While there won't be a Triple Crown winner this year, Bill Belichick is 2-for-2 in attending the legendary races. 

After spending some downtime with his girlfriend Linda Holliday and Tom Brady two weeks ago at the Kentucky Derby, the future Hall of Fame head coach was spotted at the Preakness Stakes, staring down the eventual winner War of Will before the horse secured its victory. 

You can spot Belichick to the left of the jockey right above War of Will's tail. 

War of Will rebounded from a controversial loss at the Derby, where the original winner Maximum Security appeared to impede War of Will and Country House. The race went under objection review, and Country House was declared the winner while War of Will dropped to seventh. 

With the win, War of Will may have solidified itself as the rightful contender for the Triple Crown even though it will not get the chance to capture the sport's highest achievement. 

And as Field Yates alluded to in his tweet, game recognizes game. 

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